Director’s dream began in a Cincinnati Catholic high school

Director Joe De Francesco and associate producer Wendy Drucker (Photo by Rose Pacatte)

Director Joseph De Francesco never forgot the impression that Stephen Vincent Benet’s epic 1928 Pulitzer Prize-winning poem made when he was a student at St. Gregory’s, a high school diocesan minor seminary in Cincinnati. There he found, and admittedly stole, a recording of the 1953 Broadway performed recitation of the poem by Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson, and Raymond Massey. It was adapted and directed by Charles Laughton. De Francesco still has the record.For his junior year, deciding the … [Read more...]

David Chase’s eulogy for James Gandolfini

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  1961 - 2013David Chase's eulogy for James Gandolfini June 28, 2013Earlier this morning, friends, family, and hundreds of fans gathered to pay their respects to James Gandolfini at Manhattan’s Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Four mourners — Gandolfini’s wife, Deborah Lin Gandolfini; his assistant, Thomas Richardson; his acting coach, Susan Aston; and his old boss, Sopranos creator David Chase — delivered eulogies at the service.A transcript of Chase’s speech … [Read more...]

Interview with Mona Golabek on CatholicTV, Boston

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 Here is a link to John Monahan's excellent interview with Mona Golabek, star of the one-woman play "The Pianist of Willesden Lane." It appeared on Boston's Catholic TV last Friday, December 7 and can now be seen online.The interview is at the 18" minute mark of the half hour program "Clear Voice". It is an excellent interview and introduction to the play, that I believe, can change lives.You can still purchase tickets to "The Pianist of Willesden Lane" (also good for young … [Read more...]

Susan Boyle’s best yet: “Standing Ovation: the greatest songs from the stage” CD

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  In 2009 I wrote a blog post "What should Susan Boyle sing next?" I said in part:Some may think a Disney soundtrack should be Susan's first release, but I think she could sing"Send in the Clowns" that so many famous artists have voiced before: Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey. "Send in the Clowns" was created for the British actress Glynis Johns (bn. 1923) who played Desiree in Sondheim's 1973 "A Little Night Music" based on Ingmar Bergman's 1955 film, … [Read more...]

Pianist brings mother’s Holocaust experiences to life

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Live theater is always fresh even when the story breaks your heart. The actors pour themselves into the feat of becoming another and convincing us that their pain, joy, dilemmas, tragedy and triumph are real.Through the kindness of friends, Daughter of St. Paul Sr. Marie Hunt and I were able to experience "The Pianist of Willesden Lane" at the Geffen Playhouse at UCLA.The Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater within the playhouse is intimate at only 115 seats, or parlor armchairs, arranged on … [Read more...]

Iris – a journey through the world of cinema by Cirque du Soleil

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Iris is “A journey through the world of cinema” as seen through the lens (iris of the camera and the human eye) of live theater, street theater, mime, circus, dance, gymnastics, special effects and film.Sister Madonna and I were given free tickets in hopes we would write a review for the faith community that would correspond with a group sales promotion for the show. Sister Madonna had been talking about seeing “Iris” since it opened at the now Dolby Theater here in Hollywood a year ago on Se … [Read more...]


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